Hort Forum: the ISHS Horticultural Debate Forum

ISHS Hort Forum

Prof. Dr. Ted DeJong, ISHS Vice-President responsible for overseeing the scientific programs of the International Society for Horticultural Science supports the launch of a new web-based initiative called "Hort Forum".

"The idea of this activity is to have webinars followed by panel discussions and open questions pertaining to the topic being presented. This initiative will provide opportunities for debating the positive and negative aspects of some of the science and technology innovations that are current in our fields of horticulture research. It is my contention that many times our meetings have become a bit stale and the normal course of events is that researchers make brief presentations at meetings or even in seminars. There is sometimes a brief time for polite questions, but there is little time devoted to debate or to openly discuss what is presented. The idea of "Hort Forum" is to provide opportunities for members of our Society to have this type of open discussion on current topics.

For the first "Hort Forum" I have chosen to initiate a discussion on the topic of 2D orchard systems. This is a very popular concept that is being promoted for many orchard crops and there is some controversy about the general advisability of these systems in varying circumstances.

Future "Hort Forums" will be on different topics and I am open to receiving suggestions for future topics that would be good subjects for this format. Please email me your suggestions. I thank George Manganaris for his willingness to manage the web aspects of this project and in helping with the organization to make this first "Hort Forum" a reality. He has managed to provide an opportunity for up to 1000 members of our Society to attend this on-line meeting. If you are interested register on a first-come, first-served basis."

Ted DeJong
Vice-President of the ISHS Board and Chair of the ISHS Executive Committee

Are 2-D orchard canopy management systems a leap forward or a side-step?

Tuesday, February 7, 2023, 5pm-7pm (CET)

This ISHS Hort Forum webinar has ended - the video recording of this webinar is available below for on-demand viewing.

Speaker: Terence Lee Robinson, Professor of Pomology, Horticulture Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell AgriTech, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University (USA)

  • Organizers: Ted DeJong, UC Davis (USA) and George Manganaris, Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus)
  • Panelists: Luca Corelli Grappadelli, University of Bologna (Italy), Stefano Musacchi, Washington State University (USA), Gregory Lang, Michigan State University (USA) and Ben van Hooijdonk, Institute for Plant and Food Research (New Zealand)
Tuesday, 7th February 2023,Hours: 17:00 – 19:00 Central European Time (CET)

Since the 1970s, fruit scientists have understood that quality of tree fruit crops is related to the exposure of the fruit and the surrounding leaves to light. This has led to more narrow canopies with higher light distribution which resulted in improved fruit quality. Concurrently, pioneers in high-density plantings have shown that early yield and cumulative yield are higher and fruit quality is better with high-density orchards and this has resulted in large improvements in lifetime profitability. Since the early 2000s, there has been a trend toward even more narrow canopies (fruiting walls) often termed 2-D systems. Those advocating these narrow systems report improved fruit quality and the possibility of easier mechanization, especially now that robotic mechanical harvesters are being developed. However, there is little data indicating that such canopies will outyield more traditional high-density canopies and more importantly that they are more profitable than a 3-D high-density system. This presentation is aimed at stimulating a scientific discussion of the value of 2-D systems and whether they represent an important leap forward in tree fruit production from an economic perspective.